-Chapter 11-

Rufus slammed the photo into a drawer of his desk quickly at the sudden intrusion. "Tseng, just because you're worried about me doesn't mean—" The man's voice fell off the edge of that sentence when he notice who it actually was. His mouth cracked dry and his heart did somersaults in his chest before plummeting with a hollow thud. "….Reno." He breathed the word like a prayer.

The desecrated redhead was shirtless and shoeless; Rufus didn't even think he knew of these details. His jeans were ripped and more than just a bit dirty. His face was swollen with a blackening bruise on the left side of his jaw. More bruises and large cuts danced on his flesh in obscure patterns as Rufus gazed him up and down. His eyes were blank disks of muddy emerald. His once gorgeous red mane was now a rats-nest of tangles. Rufus stood, his mouth wide open at the shell of a man he once knew. Once loved.

Reno shuffled across the carpet; his feet were raw and as filthy as the rest of him. He reached 10 feet away from the desk and dropped to his knees. The action made Rufus jump, as if an invisible, silent bullet had suddenly hit Reno square in the chest.

Reno's breath abruptly hitched and became unsteady with soft gasps. His eyes shut as he lowered himself to sit on the floor before the angel that was Rufus Shinra. Tears cut clean paths down his cheeks.

"It's your fault!" He accused the angel. "It's all your fault Rufus!" His voice held more emotion as if to compensate for the lack of which showed on his features. Rufus's brows furrowed slightly watching the man break.

"It's your fault.. I tried so hard not to fall in love with you. You were so selfish! How could you be so selfish? Why huh?! Tell me why I'm here! I don't know why I keep fucking coming back here!" Reno let out a cry of anguish as he slammed a fist to the floor.

The president felt a familiar sting in his eyes as he listened to the indictment. The echoing silence that followed Reno's words was nearly unbearable. This man… this damnable flawless perfect killer that wept on his knees before him must have came to destroy what was left of his mind. Rufus sighed and swallowed down the bile in his throat. "I don't know Reno, why don't you tell me? Maybe it's because this is all a fucking set up and you've finally come to actually kill me instead of driving me to hell and back every time I open my eyes."

"What?" Reno's face twisted into utter confusion and the tears flowed more freely at this sudden rejection. "You think I'm here to kill you? No! God no Rufus. I… I just.." He sighed clenching his jaw.

"Then what is it Reno? This is obviously some kind of set-up. Keeto probably sent you in here to catch me off guard and now he's waiting just outside the door for your signal right? Get out of here before I call up my Turks to dispose of you. You're lucky I haven't done so already. I told you never to come back here." Rufus's voice was harsh even to his ears. His heart and mind screamed at him to stop but he kept going. He couldn't stop what he wanted to say for so long. "You say it's my fault? My fault you left? My fault you quit and went back to the filth that you were before? My fault that you couldn't fight your lust over actually using your head? You seriously regret what we had that much?! If you hated me then you should have left long before we even started." He turned his back to the redhead. He couldn't let him know what he would give to hold him now and take it all back.

The words cut deeper than intended. Reno would have done the same to Rufus if he had cheated. He didn't blame his blonde lover for the refusal. The ex-Turk tried to fight back the tears, tried to fight back this twisted guilt that had been hanging over him for so long. "Rufus… I'm not here t-to kill you." His voice shuddered with effort to remain level and strong.

"Then why come back? You don't need me in your life. You proved that. You don't need my companionship; you proved that with Rude and who else? Keeto… June no doubt… Some other customers worthy of your time? What do you want with me? What makes you think I'm going to take you back so easily?" Rufus's thoughts were uncontrolled. The words fell out of his mouth as Reno lowered his head.

"I'm literally on my knees begging you Rufus! Please! Come on! I don't know why I'm here I already said that. But maybe it's because I really do need you. Just look at me! I'm a fucking mess! I'm on the run from Keeto and Shiva only knows who else, I'm tired, I'm sore, I nearly got hit by a car on the way over, I'm fed up with the shit I've done, and to top it all off, I got kicked out of my house, beaten unconscious, and raped in a span of 2 hours. Yeah, I can get on just great without you. Fuck Rufus don't you understand? I love—" The redhead was cut short by the pad of a thumb to his lips. He hadn't even noticed how his angel had knelt in front of him.

"Reno." His eyes held so much pain… It just about killed Reno knowing that he had done that to him.

"Rufus I-" Reno tried pleading but bit off the end of that sentence when the president motioned for his silence.

He sighed then started again. "Reno." He searched the green orbs for some kind of answer. "I… I don't want to be hurt again. How do I know that you're going to be true to your word this time? I… Yes I still love you but that doesn't change the fact that you lied. Do you even know how much I can't concentrate without you? You're all I think about. But you cheated Reno. And now look…" The thumb brushed the pale tear off his cheek. "Just look at us. Was this really necessary? I can't hire you back without putting you through re-training again. And it's going to take a long time before I'm ready to take you back completely. But Reno.. Damn it! I just… I just can't get over you. You're the one thing that made living possible… Just promise me you won't run away again."

"Ruu.. I…." Rufus felt a few tears match Reno's and he pulled away to wipe them hastily back. Reno caught his hand and gave the back of it a kiss. "I promise I'll do whatever's in my power to make you happy. I won't run away unless it's running to you. Rufus if you take me back I promise I'll die before leaving your side. I'll do anything you want just name it."

"Tell me you love me." Rufus requested without blinking.

"I love you…. Aishiteru.. Rufus…" Reno pleaded with his eyes, reaching up to gently pull Rufus closer. "Aishiteru…"

"I love you too." The blonde replied softly. Thankful to every god in existence to have him back. At least until he woke up in the morning… It was always a dream… always.. why should this night be any different? Still.. the tears, the voice, the feeling of Reno in his arms. I was so real.. Please.. if this is a dream, let me never wake from it…

Reno wrapped his arms tightly around the blonde not caring about the pain in his joints that still lingered from the drug. He had to hold him. His whispered to his angel over and over again, "I'm sorry… fuck I'm so sorry. I'm such an idiot Rufus. I'm so sorry. I'll never leave you again I promise…"

"Shh… I know…. I know.." Rufus stroaked Reno's hair the Turk stiffened a bit and pulled back. For a second Rufus looked horrified that his Turk would run away again.

"Sorry.. I'm in so much pain right now… Seriously. I can hardly move. The walk over was…. No.. you know what? It was a small price to pay. I deserve much worse than that for what I did to you." Rufus could see it in his movements, he had trouble working his jaw and getting his head to turn to look at him. How much had his mate endured during their separation.

"Don't talk like that… You've gone through more that enough I'm sure…" He told the redhead.

Reno winced and felt his joints start to re-stiffen as sitting on the ground made it harder to get them working. "I need this thing pumped out of my system… whatever they put in me to get me to cooperate sure as hell fucking hurts yo."

Rufus started to help him up to get him to a couch to lie down or maybe the bed in the side room that doubled as an apartment. However, he miscalculated his stepping and how unbalanced the former Turk would be, making the both of them fall back to the floor with a thud. Rufus landed on top of Reno with a small groan.

Reno inhaled sharply at the searing pain, clenching his jaw tightly. The blonde pushed himself up and blushed a bit noting the position they were in. But somehow he couldn't stop himself from making all the pain melt away. He kissed those deeply blushed lips that were swollen with a small cut. There was no objection, Reno relaxed instantly and wrapped his arms around Rufus's waist, slipping a tongue between slightly parted lips with ease. The kiss was slow but desperate, both parties wished to savoir the moment but also fell into complete bliss with each other.

They both swallowed the taste of each other, tongues giving long passionate strokes to each other in much miss appreciation. God how Reno had missed this and how Rufus had dreamed of it in the few months of there separation. It was nearly too good to be true… Rufus finally broke the kiss reluctantly to get off the Turk. He was more than ready to go the next step and more than willing but he needed to take it slow… There was still a chance that this was either a dream or a set-up. Besides, Reno was injured from the looks of it and needed medical attention.

"You need some potions… or maybe just a good night's sleep. I need to think. Here's the key to the side apartment. You can rest in there, call me if you need anything else…" Rufus helped him up and sent him towards the side door with a sigh. "And Reno…. I'm glad to have you back." The redhead smiled a bit at that and nodded shuffling slowly to the side room and closing the door behind him with a soft thud.

Rufus sighed and once more thanked every god he knew of for answering his prayers. The worst was finally over…

Trapped in your eyes,

Caught up with my lie.

Forfeit and die

After one last try.

Finally I'm moving on.

Baby, this was all wrong..

We wished on the stars

For this not to end,

It was too good to last.

More than we can withstend.

If you're going to hate me,

Then do it with a smile.

'Cause baby I still love you

While our love is on trial.

Your unearthly beauty,

How it pains me to stay.

Without your soft touch,

My mind's gone astray.

I don't care what you're doing

As long as I believe,

That you still love me.

That's all I need.

Your goodbyes.

Your soft sighs.

Do you really not care at all?

When in your eyes

I see your lies

And your world starting to fall.

Forgive and forget.

Live without regret.

Because love's not worth the fight.

Shut up and kiss me!

Fucking just miss me!

And hold me close tonight.

So in this pain I see you

And everything you've done.

Standing strong without me, Love...

So it seems that you've won.

If this is a dream

Never wake me again.

I'd rather die in my sleep

Then ever have this end.

After the dawn's broken.

After the moon has set.

I'll kiss your eyes gently,

And pretend we never met.

I don't know how to act

And I don't know what to say,

To make this any better

Or to get you to stay.

So you lied again

Just to see what I would do.

You lied again

Just to see if I'd go running back to you.

Weren't we over this?

Didn't we say goodbye?

I'm fed up with this.

Darling you're making me cry..

Temptation flees.

Fear sets in.

What happens when

You won't see me again?

Believe me when I tell you

How sorry I am.

Believe me when I tell you

That I'm a better man.

It's so hard to trust

Anything anymore.

If you ever wanted me

You never would have walked out the door.

Did you think I was stupid?

Did you think I was blind?

Our love's burning out now

So I'll leave it all behind

And as the world stops spinning

The final score is this…

I'll die a thousand times tonight

Just for your very kiss.

So once more I'm alone

Waiting for you here.

And what's more you're out there

Running from your fear.

How did I get myself in this mess?

When did I get trapped here alone?

Lover I need you now,

More then you've ever known.

And as the sun sets

On this untamed scene

I feel your love wash over me

Even when you're nowhere to be seen.

My mind regrets,

My body can't forget.

The things I've said and done.

Of all the pain,

In all this shame,

You are the only one.

Of all the pain,

In all this shame,

You are the only one.